Super Luchas reports that masked Mexican professional wrestler Averno has signed a contract with WWE. He is crossing over to the sports entertainment organization as an unmasked heel to work with Sin Cara on the SmackDown brand. He is expected to lose his mask to La Mascara at CMLL’s next big event, which takes place on June 17.
Averno had a tryout match with WWE last October and performed well, but was not signed due to concern over his age—34 years old. A deal was completed recently when company officials asked Sin Cara who he would most like to work with and he suggested Averno. WWE asked for his advice since most of the organization’s talent haven yet to adapt to his style of wrestling and therefore isn’t performing up to par. Averno, his longtime rival in CMLL, can work his style and showcase his strengths.
Super Luchas also reports that WWE is also considering signing two other young CMLL luchadors.
This is both good and bad news. On the good side, I’ve always enjoyed the luchadore’s work. It was the sole reason why I watched the first hour of Nitro every week and WCW Saturday Night, to see guys like Ultimo Dragon, La Parka, Juventud Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, and El Dandy (who was really big for a lucha, I must add). The WWE has historically had very little regard for the lighter weight guys over the course of company history, so it would be cool to see a bunch of lighter guys around, even if they’re only used as sparingly as the Divas. And who knows; maybe they’ll have enough cruisers and treat us like they did in 2002 when the Cruiserweight Title was running wild on Smackdown.
However, the hiring of Averno to help Sin Cara in the WWE is a bad idea. When they signed Sin Cara earlier this year, making only a pit stop in developmental, which was a huge mistake. Knowing he would have a difficult time making the transition from Lucha Libre to the WWE style, he should have spent significant time down there. And his ring work shows it. By hiring other luchadores, the WWE is saying two things: they don’t think Sin Cara can do it on his own, that he needs the crutch of someone who can work like him. Second, it shows the company doesn’t have faith in it’s own roster to carry Sin Cara. Could Chavo, Kofi, Rey, and Bourne get great matches out of him? I’m sure they can, and I no doubt could name at least five others who could have a great match with him. But by bring in Averno (and potentially others) they’re essentially telling their roster that, “Hey, you guys just can’t cut it with him.” I understand they’re going to baby Sin Cara because they want the Latino rating, they want big merch sales, and they want huge turnouts for the Mexico tours. But at some point the WWE is not going to like holding Sin Cara’s hand.
So let’s say they bring in Averno, and he and Sin Cara have brilliant matches. Then they move Sin Cara onto the other CMLL guys rumored to be signed, then what? What’re they going to do if they keep hiding his flaws? If they baby him by putting him with guys he’s familiar with, he’s going to flop when it comes time to feud with Dolph Ziggler or the Miz. Time will tell just how far this project is going to go.